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May 3, 2007
Medicare Part D – 2008 Benefit Limits
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the 2008 cost of living adjustments for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits. Following are select modified limits relating to the standard drug benefit and the retiree drug subsidy.
Rash of Regulations Issued
Last month, three sets of regulations relating to retirement and deferred compensation were issued.
May 2, 2007
Employers Beware: Comply with Plan Terms
A recent court decision boldly underscores the importance of accurate plan administration, specifically as it relates to eligibility. In Carolina Care Plan, Inc. v. Auddie Brown Auto Sales of Florence, Inc., 2007 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 24962 (D.N.C. 2007)], the HMO sued the employer for over $650,000 worth of claims reimbursed to an individual who was no longer eligible for the plan.
April 2, 2007
New Medicare Part D Disclosure Notices
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued new model notices of creditable and non-creditable coverage, as well as a personalized disclosure notice, to be used beginning on or after February 15, 2007. Although the substance of these notices is similar to prior versions, the language in the new notices should be used. In addition, all three forms are now available in both English and Spanish.
The National Provider Identifier
One of the components of the HIPAA Administrative simplification law is the establishment of a national provider identification number (NPI). The intent of this law is to simplify health plan processes, by ensuring that health care providers who engage in electronic transactions will use one identifying number for all of the various health plans with which they engage. The NPI is similar to a Social Security Number that is used to identify the provider for all purposes.
March 1, 2007
Qualified HSA Rollovers
The first piece of guidance relating to qualified distributions from a flexible medical spending account (FSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to a health savings account (HSA) has been issued, in the Form of IRS Notice 2007-22. The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA), signed into law in December, 2006, authorized a one-time rollover from an FSA or an HRA, to an HSA.
Investment Advice Guidance
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2007-1 relating to the new investment advice provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”). A FAB provides guidance to the DOL’s field offices about how to administer provisions of the law.
Small Health Plans: Triennial HIPAA Privacy Notice Obligation
Covered entities, including small group health plans (those with fewer than $5 million in receipts), that became subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rules by April 14, 2004, are fast approaching the third anniversary of HIPAA privacy applicability. This means that it is time to distribute a reminder notice to affected individuals regarding their right to obtain the covered entity’s Notice of Privacy Practices.
February 1, 2007
More PPA Guidance
The IRS recently issued Notice 2007-7. This guidance addresses a potpourri of Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) matters. The majority of the Notice relates to distribution issues, and also includes some guidance on the vesting requirements of defined contribution plans. Following is a brief summary of the guidance.
Health Care on the Front Burner
Health care reform is hot, both on the Federal and State agendas. Whether anything substantial comes out of these simmering pots, remains to be seen.